The Riverhead field hockey team had plenty of reasons to look forward to the 2017 season. For starters, the Blue Waves were set to begin their first full season on a new turf field, allowing them to play at a faster speed, much like the top teams in the county.
And after coming off a fifth straight playoff appearance the year before, the Blue Waves were returning several top players — nine starters, in fact.
So it was no surprise when the Blue Waves found themselves back in the playoffs again in October. Only this time, they were playing — and winning — a playoff game on their home turf.
Riverhead hosted its first-ever home playoff game Oct. 17 as the seventh seed in the Class A playoffs. The Blue Waves celebrated the milestone in style by defeating West Islip, 3-0.
Junior Kayla Kielbasa scored the game’s first goal on an unusual play: the ball went straight up off the goalie’s helmet after a deflection by Kielbasa. The ball then fell behind the goalie and rolled across the goal line.
Angie Graziano and Rease Coleman both scored goals. Coleman contributed to all three goals.
The win was the ninth of the season for Riverhead and the Blue Waves’ season came to an end in the next round against second-seeded Eastport-South Manor.